12-year-old Billy Caldwell is reportedly in a life-threatening condition after his cannabis oil was confiscated by the UK Home Office.
Billy was rushed to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London by ambulance on Friday after his epileptic seizures 'intensified', a statement from his family noted.
The banned substance is used to treat the boy's intractable epilepsy (a seizure disorder in which seizures can't be controlled by typical medication).
This recent batch was confiscated from his mum, Charlotte Caldwell, at Heathrow Airport.
In London today with Billy Caldwell and his mother, Charlotte. We are meeting with @NickHurdUK, Minister for State for Policing & Fire Service this afternoon to demand he intervenes to ensure Billy receives his medication. @Keepbillyalive pic.twitter.com/Wl4vPSZ9zl— Órfhlaith Begley (@OrfhlaithBegley) 11 June 2018
“This is beyond cruelty," she told BreakingNews.ie, "We’ve now reached the point where Billy is too ill to travel to get his medication, but his medication is stored minutes away from where we’re now living in London.
“Despite the best and honest efforts of the NHS, frontline doctors are fighting Billy’s condition with both hands tied behind their back because the only medication that will be effective is the cannabis oil (with a banned component).”
Billy, who is originally from Castlederg in Co Tyrone, began this treatment in the US in 2016. Medical marijuana is legal in the States. Now, the 12-year-old resides in London.
His GP in Northern Ireland, Brendan O’Hare, began writing him a scripts for cannabis, making him the first person in the UK to receive such a prescription.
There is, though, no record of a health service prescription being given out. The Home Office recently told Dr O'Hare to desist.
Charlotte and Billy travelled to Toronto to obtain a six-month supply in order to treat up to 100 seizures a day. However, the oil was confiscated by border officials upon their return to the UK.
“Billy has had back-to-back seizures today, Friday," the mum explained, "On his medication, which included the vital but banned THC component, he was seizure-free for more than 300 days.”
She said her son is too ill to travel abroad again to get cannabis oil.
“If Billy dies, which is looking increasingly possible, then the Home Office, and (minister) Nick Hurd, will be held completely accountable," she said.
The Home Office released their own statement on Billy's condition, the Guardian reports. They said:
"Billy is in the care of medical professionals who are best placed to assess the care and treatment that he requires.
“The Home Office is contacting Billy’s medical team. If the team treating Billy advise a particular course of urgent action, the Home Office will carefully consider what options are available to help facilitate that advice.”